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February 27, 2007

Mr. Hankey gets a facelift

I found a civic wagon at the salvage yard and told Antny about it. He rushed right down to buy a headlight bezel. It had a broken piece, but we fixed it with what was left of the bezel on his car.
If they didn't want so much for the hood and fender, i'd pick them up too. Someday this car will be mine :-D


I'm still waiting on parts for Brian's truck.
And I put a carb on the E350 (Our Lady Of Perpetual Motion). I don't like this carb, but it's slightly better than the one i removed.

February 22, 2007


I went to the salvage yard yesterday. They didn't have any diesel pickups, but they did have some diesel vans. The bracket(s) I needed looked the same... turns out they aren't. The pump is even slightly different.

I went to the Chevy dealership and ordered the missing bracket brace, and figured i could repair the broken pieces.
broken brackets
fixed brackets

The brace won't be in for a while. The part was discontinued from GM, but there's a company which buys all the leftover stock GM wants to junk, and they had one. It's still coming from the GM dealership. It's just a little 'S' curve brace that's missing... caused all sorts of problems. And of course, I also found an SAE bolt in a metric hole, an offsize nut, a replaced generic nut, and another missing bolt. The diesel at the junkyard had a missing bracket bolt too, but otherwise looked mostly untouched.

I started to put it back together and realized i forgot to pull the pulley to check out that missing bolt behind it... D'oh. Take it back apart tomorrow. Brace wont be in until next week anyway.

I guess i could just leave it out... it's just one bolt ;)

February 20, 2007


Remember Brian's truck?

It's got some power steering problems.
One of the pump brackets is missing, and another is broken... probably because one was missing.
It would be nice if i could've seen the future, but who looks for a missing bracket? Not me.
especially when everything is covered in grime... ick.
For the record, i do not work on diesel engines.

There's a steering fluid leak. I noticed that when i did the shocks last time. Grime was everywhere.
"I can fix that" said i back then.
little did i know what i would get myself into.

There's a missing bolt (besides the missing bracket's bolts) which disturbs me. This bolt can only be accessed when the pump's pulley is removed with a special puller. Why the heck is it missing? Either it snapped off due to the missing bracket causing vibrations enough to do so, or it wasn't installed... by someone... someone who also forgot a bracket(?).

In times past I once pursuaded Sean to purchase a power steering pump pulley puller for a previous pursuit. Hooray! It's a practical piece, but pricey. On this particular pickup I have to pull the pump in order to pull the pulley with this pricey pulley puller, then peruse the pump to probe the pocket where that missing pin plants. Is it just not present or is it pulverized?

excuse me, i'll be back in a minute.

I'm back.
WTF is up with these diesels and their missing accessory bracket bolts? Geneva was missing some too. But at least all her brackets were there. If i can't find the parts at a salvage yard i'll have to ask her to let me look at hers again so i can copy it. And i'll have to weld Brian's broken bracket... blast!

February 16, 2007

circumstantial evidence

i looked at an '02 mazda 626 today.
It has 71xxx miles but is overheating and has a misfire.
Both the front wheel bearings are loudly roaring.
The LF engine splash shield is missing.

Carfax OK'd this car a few years ago. It's been mostly fine until now i'm told... at least about the overheating and misfire. It needed a battery a while back.. decent car.

Logic and gut tell me it may have a bad head gasket due to the symptoms. Specs, age, and mileage tell me it should be something else. If only the symptoms would agree....

I fixed the misfire i think. Time will tell. Plugs @ 60K are recommended. I replaced the chewed up 'fan' belts too.

The coolant loss symptoms point to head gasket, but they don't scream it. I like it when they scream.

Coolant loss seems to be only coming from the cap releasing pressure... but it seems to build pressure prematurely.
It has slightly low compression in the left bank, specifically the center cylinder there. That cylinder had a VERY difficult to remove spark plug... like it was extra corroded.
"Technically" the comparative compression between the six cylinders is OK... within 15% of each other.... but the right bank is nearly dead equal between the three, and the left bank is lower, with the center cylinder reading lowest.... It's right on the line... 15% exactly.
I wouldn't bet my life on it being a head gasket, but I'd bet on it. I wouldn't bet on anything else unless someone gave me a good enough reason.

Sean came home.
I presented it to him 'cause he's real smart.
"I looked at this car. When it came in, the temp gauge didn't read hot, but it was bubblin' from the cap, and the cap fits and tests good."
"head gasket" said he.
Then i presented the age/mileage and lack of conclusive evidence (and trying to avoid the inevitable), and he hemmed and hawed like i, but still leans towards head gasket. We like it when they scream.

February 14, 2007

spun bearing

I went to inspect and repack the rear wheel bearings on Dreya's Lebaron the other day. The right outer bearing showed signs of wear so we replaced it. The outer race was gray and striped (precursor to pitting) and the bearing cage was rustified.
The left rear had a lot of play (loose) which i attributed to adjustment. The bearings looked OK, but then i realized the inner race was spinning in the hub. I can't get the looseness out of the bearings w/o replacing the hub. It's been like that for a while and the bearings still look good, so i don't think it's a saftey concern yet, but it can still cause tire wear problems. I'm looking out for an inexpensive used hub for it. It may be the cause of the rumbly noise i hear sometimes. The track bar had a loose bolt too. i tightened it.

February 2, 2007

redneck (corvette summer II)

my neck is red.
my face is brownish red.
my left arm is tan and freckled.
the rest of me is still pretty pasty.
and i lost my beard somewhere.

the corvette is done! Yayyy!

i had to do a lot of work to get the runout to less than .005" on the rotors, and i had issues with seized front line fittings, a hose leak, and forgetting to adjust the parking brake shoes, but it's done! DONE!

tomorrow i pick up sean from the airport... in Miami... before the superbowl.
I still need to change the oil on his lincoln. It tells me so when i drive it to roy's house to work on the 'vette. Today it also told me the fuel was low. I knew that. I guess I need to change the oil and add fuel tomorrow before i leave. Yuck.

oh, BTW, in my previous entry i said "I've ben working on this car since tuesday." That's not right. The parts came in tuesday. I started work wednesday after diagnosing and ordering parts sunday. It just seems like it ben longer ;)

stay warm

February 1, 2007

corvette summer

This 'vette is kickin' my ass.
Where's Mark Hamill when you need him?

I spent most of the day drilling out rotor rivets.
I've ben working on this car since tuesday.
I wish i had my shop press.
and some other stuff.
I still have one wheel to finish.
Plus i have to go around and make sure the rotor runout is in spec for all 4 wheels.

but at least i got to smack myself in the knee with an 8oz hammer.
i mean ow.

The parts from VB&P are very shiny. Sorry, no pics.
it is a white 1977 corvette.
It had 3 leaking calipers and the rear rotors were junk.
We are doing all 4 rotors, calipers, master cylinder, hoses, and rear steel lines.
The VB&P caliper seals are redesigned to help prevent future leaks, and their cylinders are stainless sleeved to prevent rust.

I also saved Roy's snail. He didn't know he had a snail. O.Gogh (the snail) was living on the left rear brake, trying to grow his shell back after it cracked the last time the car moved. He now lives in a shrubbery. Oscar is about the diameter of a dollar (Sacagawea or Susan B.)

booo ;)
i just call him Ogo.